The Coming New YearWritten by Ron Cohen
As we close out 2011, I’m considering what the new year will hold for UCP.
It’s no secret that we’ve felt the impact of a lousy economy. We continue to look for every opportunity to stretch our limited dollars without compromising a standard of service that ensures that our UCP family will have the best care available….anywhere!
My concern for next year, and likely beyond, rests with a very pressing and immediate issue. We primarily rely on Medi-Cal funding to provide world-class care to our clients who reside in our homes. In 2009, the State of California froze Medi-Cal reimbursement rates for those homes at 2008 levels, and did so without Federal approval, resulting in a $600,000 annual revenue loss for UCPLA. We joined forces with our colleagues at the Developmental Services Network to sue the state in Federal Court. UCPLA won an injunction from the first trial judge on grounds that the state violated the law.
The State of California appealed to the Ninth District Court of Appeals. In a recent ruling, the Court found that the State of California did in fact act illegally with their freeze, however, the lower court’s injunction was overturned because it was determined that Medi-Cal providers, like UCPLA, do not have the right to sue the State of California.
What!!!!! The State of California violates the law and does not pay providers what they legally owe for services the State purchased, and we can’t sue them?
Well, in October, a right to sue case, very similar to ours, was heard in the United States Supreme Court. We are expecting the Court’s ruling in 2012.
Will the New Year present a monumental challenge for UCPLA? You bet it will! A Supreme Court ruling in our favor will surely help. My first priority is to our clients…our UCP family. Check back for updates on our progress. Meanwhile, my best to all of you for a healthy and hopeful 2012.
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